Reflecting on everything from record enrollment to major steps forward in advancing health care, Washington State University President Kirk Schulz on Tuesday praised the progress being made throughout the University system to transform education and improve lives.

“We’re doing great stuff,” Schulz said in his second State of the University address as WSU president. “But we need to make sure we’re telling that story widely and broadly, that if you come to Washington State you’re coming to world-class educational programs and opportunities, and this shouldn’t be seen as a second choice by anybody.”

Schulz, who took the helm at WSU in 2016, used the bulk of the annual address to emphasize the University’s statewide reach, celebrate the progress being made toward its goal of becoming one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, and to highlight the accomplishments of a thriving higher education system reaching for new heights.

He focused on four broad themes:

  • WSU as Washington’s state university. With its five growing campuses, research stations, and extension offices in all 39 counties, WSU is partnering with corporations and organizations throughout the state to advance our quality of life.
  • A transformative education. A world-class faculty, nationally ranked academic programs and commitment to enriching international perspectives are equipping WSU’s record-setting enrollment of 30,614 students to succeed in a globally interdependent world.
  • Commitment to higher education access—and success. WSU is striving to hold tuition in check, expanding academic programs statewide, as well as online, and bolstering support services that help students excel while also embracing initiatives to create a more welcoming and inclusive community.
  • Engine of economic growth. From food and agriculture to energy, health care and other industry partnerships, WSU is instilling a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that moves research from laboratories to the marketplace, creates job-ready graduates and generates an overall economic impact of more than $3.3 billion annually.

“We have a tremendously dedicated set of people that, no matter what the circumstances, are rolling up their sleeves, working to get it done,” Schulz said. “And you don’t see growing enrollment at a university that’s not going somewhere.”

The annual address was delivered at the Bryan Hall auditorium on the Pullman campus and included a question-and-answer session with faculty, staff and students. It was part of WSU’s 2018 Showcase activities and a livestream was available for those unable to attend in person.

The full address is posted at WSU’s YouTube channel: